Hopkinsville campsites, hotels ready to host thousands for eclip - WSMV News 4

Hopkinsville campsites, hotels ready to host thousands for eclipse

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Only 40 days are left until the total solar eclipse is set to stretch from the West Coast to the East Coast, and one of the best spots to view it will be Hopkinsville, KY.

There will be more than 100,000 people in town that weekend. While many people are booking up hotels along the path, some are venturing out to camp sites and farms.

Burdoc Farms owner Sara Shepherd hopes hundreds if not thousands will flock to her 700-acre farm to view the eclipse.

“My husband’s parents bought the farm in the 1940s, so we’ve hit 80 years but not quite 100 yet,” Shepherd said.

Burdoc Farms usually hosts upwards of 60 weddings during the year. But things will be quite different come the weekend just before the eclipse.

“We have line dancing going on on Friday night. We have a bluegrass festival going on Saturday, all day Saturday. We’ve got some really great bands that are going to be with us that are well known in the Bluegrass arena, and then Sunday night it’s going to be movie night that’s going to be free,” Shepherd said.

On Aug. 21, people can nab a spot to watch the total solar eclipse from the fields. Her farm sits less than 20 miles north of Hopkinsville, a prime spot for 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality.

“We’ll be glad when it’s over. We keep saying we won’t do anything until the eclipse is over, but there’s always things to do when you own a farm,” Shepherd said.

She said they’ve planned for the event for a few years and wanted to do a combo of free and paid events to be able to offer more to the Christian County community.

“It’s going to be able to allow us to do some other things we do want to do on the farm. We are wanting to add a zipline tour so I think this is going to allow that to happen,” Shepherd said.

People can also rent a patch of the land to camp for the weekend. Rates start at $200 depending on how long you’ll be there. While some may decide to camp during the eclipse weekend, others are turning to hotels. Many along the path are selling out.

Harold Scott is the general manager for the Hampton Inn in Hopkinsville. His hotel hasn’t sold out yet, but staff members are preparing to greet customers with gift bags and event calendars.

“I’ve got about 17 left with a three-night minimum, arriving on Saturday and departing on Tuesday. Our rates are $599 a night per paid,” Scott said.

With prices like that because of demand, city leaders expect to boost the local economy by at least $30 million.

The opportunity for extra tourism dollars didn't sneak up on hospitality executives. Scott said they’ve been planning for two years and don’t want anything to get in the way of booking customers.

“We’re actually turning away some business of our normal clients unfortunately because it takes place on a Monday,” Scott said.

Channel 4 called around to several hotels in Hopkinsville and found Comfort Suites and LaQuinta Inn are the only ones so far that have sold out.

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